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April 14, 1951


JAMA. 1951;145(15):1122-1125. doi:10.1001/jama.1951.02920330012004

American medicine cannot continue to maintain its present orientation in the field of medical education if it is seriously concerned with the quality of care which future physicians are to render their patients. The persisting preoccupation with an almost exclusive physical, chemical and bacteriological orientation in undergraduate curricula is not in keeping with present-day knowledge. This orientation, which was responsible for the rise of modern medicine, has become insufficiently scientific and inadequate. It clings to the past and is influenced by the technological trends of the Western world. To reflect that the quality of medical care in these United States is superior to that in other countries is scarcely consoling when one imagines how much better it might become if the present orientation to the healing of the sick were to utilize well established scientific knowledge about people and the effects of their relations with one another. The rediscovery of

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